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June 10, 2021
6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Menlo Park, CA 94025
A map of the U.S., split in two halves, each made to look like a table with a cup of coffee on top
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A Change is Gonna Come: How to Have Effective Political Conversations in a Divided America

Thursday, June 10, 2021

How can we be politically civil to each other again?

How can deliberative democracy survive if we can't even speak to people with whom we disagree?

By and large, public opinion is sticky and change occurs very slowly; one exception to this is the more recent and significant change in public opinion toward LGBTQ rights and marriage equality. The marriage equality movement is considered one of the great success stories of political advocacy, but why was it so successful? If simple conversation can work in one arena, can it work in others? And how and where does one approach such conversation?

Dr. Brian F. Harrison will join us to share his research into practical ways to approach informal political conversation on a variety of contentious issues.

About Brian F. Harrison
Brian F. Harrison is a Lecturer at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. He is also Founder and President of Voters for Equality, a political organization dedicated to education, research, and political engagement among progressives and LGBT allies. Harrison is co-author of Listen, We Need to Talk: How to Change Attitudes about LGBT Rights, and specializes in American politics, public opinion, political communication, and LGBT politics.

Prior to academia, Brian was a political appointee in the George W. Bush administration, serving as an assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Infrastructure Protection in the Department of Homeland Security. While he identifies as a progressive, he grew up with Republican parents and worked in a conservative administration and department, experiences that provided important insights on how to communicate with people with divergent political views.